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Third Chicago airport gets off the ground

The Illinois Dept. of Transportation submitted a report Friday to the Federal Aviation Administration that outlines its plan for a third Chicago area airport, reports the Associated Press. The AP calls the Facilities Requirement Report “one of the last steps in developing an airport master plan” for an airport in the Chicago suburb of Peotone in Will County. Illinois politicians have sporadically touted the need for a 3rd Chicago area airport (besides O’Hare and Midway) and Jesse Jackson, Jr., the U.S. representative for Peotone, has made it a pet issue, forming his own Abraham Lincoln National Airport Commission. Jackson has brought national visibility to the idea — seemingly at Jackson’s behest, the New York Times Bob Herbert wrote a series of columns last year that praised the airport as a way to create jobs.

However, as Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business reported in September, the real driver behind the Peotone airport is Gov. Pat Quinn. The state has paid $33 million to buy the 2,000 acres needed for the airport and Quinn has worked to win the support of Will County executive Larry Walsh. Also, Quinn has worked as diplomat between Walsh and Jackson, as each wants control of the project. One of Quinn’s triumphs so far as governor is the successful procurement of federal financing for transportation projects like high-speed rail between Chicago and St. Louis. Winning federal money for a Peotone airport could be a lasting achievement that benefits the economically-ravaged far-south Chicago suburbs.

One Response to “Third Chicago airport gets off the ground”

  1. UG Reader:

    There is no recession in Eastern Will County, there is a depression and has been for years. If you want a job , you have to drive a long way for it.

    comment at 20. December 2010

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